Recent News

Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review-03.10.18


No. 190/18                                                                                                      



A. Turkish Cypriot Press

1. Elcil: Turkey’s approval could not be taken for opening the Deryneia crossing point

2. Sibel evaluates the developments on the Cyprus problem

3. Izcan warned that abandoning the basis of federation on the Cyprus problem will lead to the division of the island

4. TMT: “The Cyprus negotiation must not start if the results are not fruitful”

5. Around 10,000 students from the breakaway regime participated in camping in Canakalle during the last two years


B. Turkish Press

1. Dutch FM due to Turkey for a series of contacts

2. Turkish opposition parties criticize the government over economic program

3. 417 suspects sought in money laundering probe

4. Turkey continues with daylight saving time permanently

5. Gokce Aytulu undertakes duties as editor-in-chief of Hürriyet Daily News


A. Turkish Cypriot Press

1. Elcil: Turkey’s approval could not be taken for opening the Deryneia crossing point    

Turkish Cypriot daily Detay newspaper(03.10.18) reports that Sener Elcil, general secretary of the Turkish Cypriot teachers’ trade union (KTOS), has said that the recent developments clearly showed the policy implemented for not opening the crossing points in Deryneia and Apliki areas. In a written statement, Elcil noted that the excuses shown for years by the “official authorities” of the occupation regime on the issue of the opening of the Deryneia crossing point are not valid anymore and that at the point we have reached it is clearly seen that Ankara’s approval for the opening of the crossing point could not been taken.

“Turkey, which has been implementing delaying tactics for years with the excuse that there is no money, built a road and renewed the wires of Varosha with money taken by the EU”, said Elcil adding that when the money problem was solved there was a delay for a few more years by saying that “there is an obstacle from the military point of view”. He also argued the following:

“After a period of time which passed by showing as excuse the army guarding points and that the Greek Cypriot side was not ready, the excuse of lack of applications by building contractors was produced. As soon as the building contractors’ problem ceased to exist, the rhetoric that we will prepare the gate for crossings was used as refuge. The four party coalition government and Mr Akinci, who has been elected to find a solution, are unable even to make a statement saying ‘these gates will open on the following date’. It is understood that Ankara’s approval could not be taken”.   

Commenting on the issue, Detay writes that the developments on the opening of the Deryneia crossing point are reminding of the tension existed between the political and the military “authorities” in the occupied area of the island when the crossing point in Lokmaci area, Ledra Street, in Nicosia was about to open. The paper recalls that with the excuse that the road from which crossings would take place violated a military zone, in the beginning a bridge was built for the people to cross above this road. This “tragic-comical measure”, as the paper describes it, was withdrawn in the end and the crossing point opened normally.

Finally, Turkish Cypriot Yeni Düzen newspaper (03.10.180 refers to the issue and reports that the press office of the “Security Forces Command” told the paper that “no statement will be made on this issue” and added that “if there is going to be a statement, we will share it with the press”.



2. Sibel evaluates the developments on the Cyprus problem

Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (03.10.18) under the front-page title: “There is no desire for solution but a desire for the continuation of the negotiations”, reports on statements by the former “speaker” of the so-called assembly of the breakaway regime, Sibel Siber, who accused the Greek Cypriot side of supporting the continuation of the Cyprus negotiation talks instead of a solution.

“The Greek Cypriot leadership is in favor of the continuation of fruitless talks and their aim is to continue and protect its positions having the support of the international community”, Siber alleged.

Issuing a written statement, Siber described as a “crackjaw” the efforts to present the guarantees as the obstacle for the solution, since the international actors have already realized the reason behind the non-solution. “Creating the perception that ‘the guarantees are not necessary’ is something that puts our people into risk”, Siber argued. She further alleged that by persuading the UN and by reaching a mutual agreement, they should then look for a way out from the current status quo and from the non-solution of the Cyprus problem.

Siber further called on Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci to brief the “assembly” on the ongoing developments on the Cyprus problem.



3. Izcan warned that abandoning the basis of federation on the Cyprus problem will lead to the division of the island

Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (03.10.18) reports that the chairman of the United Cyprus Party (BKP) Izzet Izcan, in a written statement said that giving up from federation as a basis on the solution of the Cyprus problem is nothing else than an adventure.

“Even though it’s been 15 months since the negotiations in Crans Montana, speaking yet about preparation is nothing else but a stance showing insincerity”, Izcan stated, adding that Cyprus needs political willpower.

Izcan called on both sides to stop wasting time and warned that the threat of the division of the island knocks our doors. He added that at the current stage, the better that should be done is to back the positions that will be expressed by the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and proceeding with the resumption of the Cyprus negotiation talks without any preconditions. “This is the duty of all Cypriots who support the United Federal Cyprus and the solution”, added Izcan.



4. TMT: “The Cyprus negotiation must not start if the results are not fruitful”

Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (03.10.18) reports that the illegal TMT organization stated that the Cyprus negotiation must not start if the results are not fruitful.

In a written statement issued by TMT’s chairman Yilmaz Bora, the organization claimed that everybody knows why the negotiations that have been continued for 50 years have not given no any result and blamed the desire of ENOSIS expressed by the Greek Cypriots for the developments in Cyprus.

The organization stated that the existence of the “TRNC” will continue forever with the support of motherland Turkey.



5. Around 10,000 students from the breakaway regime participated in camping in Canakalle during the last two years

Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (03.10.18) reports that the self-styled minister of education Cemal Ozyigit stated that around 10,000 students from the breakaway regime participated during the last two years in camping in Canakalle.

He made these statements speaking during a reception given in occupied Keryneia for the leaders of the camping in which also participated the “ambassador of Turkey to Lefkosia”  Derya Kanbay  and other “officials”.

“Our main goal is for the people who speak the same language and share the same faith to understand each other”, Ozyigit stated. He also said that this culture of give and take can only be beneficial for young people and added that in May 19, 2019 the 100th commemoration of Ataturk’s landing in Samsun will be celebrated and the meaning of this important day must be explained to the youth, as he said. 

Speaking also at the reception, Kanbay stated that upon a request from their parents, students that study in schools in “TRNC” were sent to camps at Canakalle for the summer holidays of 2017-2018 and they had the chance to visit the interesting historical sites and museum of the area and also to be informed about the famous battles that took place there. He also said that the history regarding Canakalle must be explained in the best way possible to the new generations of Turkish Cypriots and added that the visits to the area is a result of this thought.



B. Turkish Press

1. Dutch FM due to Turkey for a series of contacts

Turkish daily Sabah (03.10.18- reports that Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok is expected to pay an official visit to Turkey today to discuss the steps to be taken for the recovery of the bilateral ties, following a decision to normalize relations between Turkey and the Netherlands in July.

Ahead of his visit to Turkey, Blok told Anadolu Agency (AA) in a written statement that his aim to improve the relations between the two countries has been restored. He also added that his visit to Turkey is an "excellent opportunity to raise these issues with each other and address concerns we have in these areas."

The talks between Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Blok are expected to focus on Turkey's EU process, the current regional and international issues, security, migration and economy.

The two Ministers are expected today to visit the Parliament and hold a joint press conference, which aims to emphasize the restored ties between the Netherlands and Turkey.

Tomorrow, Blok and Cavusoğlu will attend the TRT World Forum in Istanbul, which will host more than 600 politicians, businesspeople, academics, activists, journalists, opinion leaders, intellectuals and policymakers.

Meanwhile, in order to restore the bilateral relations, the two countries recently appointed their Ambassadors. In line with this, Ambassadors Marjanne de Kwaasteniet and Saban Disli were reinstated in Ankara and The Hague, respectively.

Relations between Turkey and the Netherlands became strained ahead of the April 2017 referendum on the constitutional amendment envisaging Turkey's presidential system.

As the Dutch government did not allow campaign rallies for the Turkish diaspora in the country, former Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya was barred from entering the Turkish Consulate in the Netherlands in the southwestern province of Rotterdam. Around the same time, the Dutch authorities also refused the prior permission of a plane carrying Cavusoglu at that time.

Turkey recalled its Ambassador back home due to a row in March 2017, while Dutch Ambassador Cornelis Van Rij, who was recalled to the Netherlands for consultations after Ankara asked him not to return for a while, was not allowed back into Turkey. The Dutch Foreign Ministry finally withdrew the envoy in February, and diplomatic relations were maintained by the charge d'affaires for over a year.

On July 20, Turkey and the Netherlands agreed to normalize relations. The decision was made after Cavusoglu met with Blok at the NATO Summit in Brussels in July.

Emphasizing the need to leave behind the regretful events that damaged the long-standing relations, Cavusoglu said that Blok sent him a letter expressing eagerness to normalize the diplomatic ties.


2. Turkish opposition parties criticize the government over economic program

Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (02.10.18- reported that the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the İYİ (Good) Party have both slammed the Turkish government over a recently rolled out new economic program, while also lashing out at a deal with the global consulting firm McKinsey and Company.

“Now the government says that a company should provide consultancy to Turkey every three months, because it does not have confidence in the Turkish state. They made an agreement with McKinsey,” CHP leader Kemal Kılıcdaorglu said in his first weekly address to party lawmakers on Oct. 2 after the judicial year resumed on Oct. 1.

He also asked whether the government would reveal periodic reports prepared by the audit company.

Touching on the new economic program revealed by the Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak on Sept. 27, Kılıcdaroglu said that Turkey has $26 billion in debts with due dates until the end of the year, which adds to some $12 billion of the current account deficit.

“We are in an economic crisis now,” he said. “If Turkey was run logically, we would not face such a crisis.”

Also, the leader of the İYİ (Good) party Meral Aksener echoed a similar criticism during her weekly address, saying that the program revealed by Albayrak is “the program of the IMF.”

They are not saying it but doing so by giving the job to an American company,” she said.

“We will not forgive those who signed that deal and who implement it,” she added.

The Treasury and Finance Ministrer Albayrak refute criticisms that the economy was “left to a consulting firm” and that it would pave the way for an IMF program. The claims are “irrational and malicious,” he said in a statement on Sept. 30.


3. 417 suspects sought in money laundering probe

Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (02.10.18- reported that the Turkish prosecutors ordered the detention of 417 suspects in a money laundering investigation into the transfer of about 2.5 billion Turkish Liras ($419 million) worth of foreign currency to bank accounts abroad, state-run Anadolu Agency said on Oct. 2.

The vast majority of the recipients of the funds were Iranian citizens residing in the United States, it added, citing a statement from Istanbul’s chief prosecutor.

Istanbul police teams launched raids across a number of provinces, searched properties and detained many people, the agency said.

The investigation was aimed at those who “targeted the economic and financial security of the Turkish Republic,” the Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office said.

The suspects were accused of money laundering, “forming a gang with the aim of committing a crime,” and “breaking a law aimed at preventing the financing of terrorism,” the statement said. The operation was launched by financial crimes police.

It said the suspects were accused of receiving commission for sending the money to 28,088 accounts abroad.

The transfers were made from various bank branches and ATMs starting from Jan. 1, 2017 with sums of 5,000 liras and more, the statement said.


4. Turkey continues with daylight saving time permanently

Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (02.10.18- reported that a presidential decree signed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has made “GMT+3” the official permanent time zone of the country.

The decree, published in the Official Gazette on Oct. 2, revoked the Cabinet decision dated Oct. 23, 2017 which said that clocks would be moved forward one hour until Oct. 28.

The Council of State, Turkey’s highest administrative court, on Sept. 27 had ordered a stay of a previous Cabinet decision to make daylight saving time last for the entire year.

The government’s decision to move to permanent daylight saving time had stirred a public debate, as some communities especially living in the western parts of the country complained about having to wake up in the dark well before sunrise.

On the other hand, then Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak defended the practice, citing studies showing that advancing clocks year-round would increase productivity.

Turkey, which lies between longitudes 26° and 45° E, traditionally used the “GMT+2” time zone on grounds of its close ties with the European countries.

The practice of advancing clocks one hour between March and November was in place since 1970.


5. Gokce Aytulu undertakes duties as editor-in-chief of Hürriyet Daily News

Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (02.10.18- reported that Gokce Aytulu has taken the helm as the new editor-in-chief of Hürriyet Daily News, replacing outgoing Murat Yetkin.

“The Hürriyet Daily News has a special tradition in journalism. For the new era, this tradition will be illuminating our path,” Aytulu said during a handover ceremony at the newspaper’s headquarters in Istanbul on Oct. 1.

Yetkin, who ran the newspaper for more than seven years, congratulated his successor and former colleague.

“Now, I am passing the flag on to Gokce Aytulu, who is from a younger generation of Turkish journalists but who has all the qualities and experience to run HDN,” Yetkin said.

Aytulu worked at CNN Türk, Referans, Radikal, and Hürriyet as a reporter and editor. Previously, he was the managing editor of Hürriyet, a mainstream Turkish-language newspaper.




(AK/ AM)